OM Entrepreneurs, The Marlburian Club Magazine. December 2017
The Founder: Polly Nicholson (née Bayntun-Coward) (PR 1986-88)
The Business: Organic flower farming.
The Beginning: As an antiquarian book expert at Sotheby’s, the production of gardening books reignited a childhood interest in flowers. After retraining at the Chelsea Physic Garden and moving to Wiltshire, Bayntun Flowers started growing flowers commercially.
The Eureka Moment: Realising that all the ingredients for successful flower farming were on her doorstep: rich, black, alluvial soil; plenty of sun; and even more rain.
The Dough: Private investment.
The Keys to Success: Growing flowers that aren’t readily available in any of the commercial flower markets: Historic English Florists’Tulips dating back to 1760, Persian Fritillaries, Cedric Morris Irises and Sweet Peas. Strict environmentally- friendly methods are followed, with a bore hole for irrigation and bees kept to aid pollination.
The Present: Supplying wholesale to florists in London including Shane Connolly, Creative Floral Director at the wedding of TRHs The Duchess of Cambridge (EL 1996-2000) and Prince William. Stocking florists in Wiltshire and doing small private events.
Workshops are held throughout the year, and there was a recent collaboration with Anna Pavord for a day of tulipomania.
The Future: To continue the British flower movement and take a greater percentage of the market share away from Dutch imports. To reintroduce historic and forgotten flowers back to the marketplace, infusing homes with scent, texture and colour.